Hog's Breath Cafe (Paddington Branch)
5 Petrie Terrace, Paddington
This might be a real boring recap for you guys. Firstly, almost everyone knows of Hog's Breath. At the risk of sounding like a jaded commercial, 'There's One Near You!'
Secondly, I've already done a Hog's Breath post, based on the Indooroopilly branch. On this occasion, we went there to find that it was fully booked (despite the fact that we saw maybe only 20% of the tables were occupied). Charlie had a rare moment of insistence - he's usually quite 'go with the flow' but on that night, was UNCOMPROMISING in his desire to eat at Hogs Breath. I have him to blame for being forced to write a repetitive post. However, it's not 'entirely' pointless. If you read on, you'll discover that my experience at the Paddington Hog's Breath is quite unlike my time at Indooroopilly, back a few months ago.
We thus drove on to the next closest Hog's Breath which happens to be the Paddington location. After the parking hurdle was overcome, we made our way inside and got seated.
My first impression of this Hog's Breath is that it isn't as 'warm' as the Indooroopilly or Carindale branches. This could be due to the fact that we were seated near the door and cold air was blowing in... anything is possible.
Charlie and I decided to be ultimate pigs this day (both having just gotten uni results) and ordered drinks, starters and mains. There was some embarrassment with the waitress - try as we may, and after repeated attempts, she just couldn't register what a 'milkshake' was. At one point she heard 'milk share' but it still didn't click...
Finally, something got through and we had a vanilla and chocolate milkshake; one for each. They were quite average - something like flavored milk. Not very frothy or even cold.
There was a huge wait for our starters and when they finally came, our mains followed maybe 2min later. The waitress with our mains realized they stuffed up and offered to put them back into the kitchen for a while. Because he had hardly any room on our table, we agreed that was a good idea. However, they must have forgotten this because a couple of minutes after that, they brought our mains out AGAIN and we gave up and just accepted all the plates.
The cheesy herb bread was alright. It tasted very cheesy and the bread was warm and hot. The herbs weren't really detectable and you know, to be honest it wasn't that spectacular. A bit like the frozen supermarket variety.
We had a really good impression of the potato skins last time and ordered them again. They were still quite tasty. We chose the 'classic' flavor with sweet chili and sour cream.
When I saw my steak on the plate, it was instant disappointment. Hog's Breath steaks are etched in my early memories as the first THICK and 'real' steaks that I've had. Back when I wasn't a foodie, I could still appreciate how the Hoggies steaks were solid and substantial and leagues above $10 pub steaks that tend to be thin and sinewy. Once, I went to Hog's Breath (at Carindale) and they told me their special steak had sold out. We settled for their alternative 'thin version' but was completely let down. Now, the steak I had at Petrie Tce on this night was like THAT steak.
Charlie's was bigger but just looked bad to me - kinda like a Frankenstein steak pieced together with lumps of fat and sinew, rather than a nice, clean chunk of meat. HE quite enjoyed it though, which is what matters. At least, he enjoyed it until the last few bites that were basically raw. I had the same problem with mine - the very rare portions of the steak had this HORRIBLE taste. It reminded me of Chinese fermented beancurd. No idea how a steak could have tasted like that but we both detected it in our steaks and had no intention of finishing those portions off.
On the plus side, the curly fries were great.
On the down side (yes, more negative feedback), we practically had to beg for water before getting any.
So there you have it; lapse in service, drop in food standards. I'm not sure if I'm confident in the consistency of Hog's Breath cafe anymore but if I was to give them another go, I would steer clear of the Paddington branch.